The Half Marathon Pace Chart You Need To Run Your Best Race

half marathon pace chart

Getting ready to run a half marathon? Then you need to wrap your head around half marathon pace charts.

How come?

One of the most pressing questions in choosing a half marathon goal is the finish time.

Here’s the full guide to how long is a marathon.

The Importance of Running Charts

Before I get into the half marathon pace chart weeds, let’s explain why they’re important.

Finding your race pace (and sticking to it come race day) is crucial to your training progress and racing success.

Pace charts are useful for both beginner runners and elite runners. Whether preparing for your first half marathon, trying to PR, or going on a long run, knowing your pace can help you run and race better. What’s not to like.

A pace chart will help you know how fast your pace should be if you have a specific finish time for the half marathon.  For instance, find out what pace you need to keep to run a 1:45 half marathon.

It also allows you to determine your running pace for your training runs. For example, find out how fast your pace should be for a 10-mile long run, which is often run one to two minutes slower than your goal HM pace.

What’s more?

A chart pace is a great visual way to help you understand how a little change in pace can drastically impact your half marathon finish time. For example, 15 seconds could mean the difference between running a sub-1:40 race and running just over it.

Additional Source – Check this treadmill pace chart

The Importance of Finding Rhythm

Overall, sticking to an even steady pace from the start line to the finish is a fantastic way to run your best HM and achieve a personal best.

When it comes to a half marathon, kicking the race faster than your goal pace will likely lead to falling off in the later miles, and you don’t want that.

So, as a rule, determine your goal of peace and start then. Then, feel free to speed it up by mile 10 or 11—but only if you’re feeling strong.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to the Yasso 800 Workout

Presenting The Chart

The chart will list average paces per mile or kilometer, which helps provide you with the correlated finish time.

My half marathon pace chart list what finish time a given pace will produce. This is helpful since it lets you know what pace you’ll need to average for a goal time.

The following chart provides paces in average mile time. First, find your goal finish time. Next, see that goal per mile pace.

The chart below will translate your HM goal finish time into your per-mile or per-kilometer pace. It also shows the halfway split and the split for every 3 miles.

For example, if you’re targeting a 1.30 half marathon, you can easily see that you’ll need to run 4:15 per kilometer or faster to achieve that time.

Knowing that pace beforehand allows you to plan your training program accordingly to reach your goal. Seeking a finish time outside that range or an exact finish time between those 30-second jumps? Then try this pace calculator.

What’s more?

Keep in mind that my half marathon pace chart isn’t considering any specific type of race course, whether it’s hilly, snowy, hot, or has lots of turns.

For example, if you want to run a half marathon in 1 hour 30 minutes, you’ll see that 6:52 minutes per mile or 4:16 minutes per kilometer is what you need to come in at just under your goal time.

Additional resources:

 

What Are Pre-Workout Supplements? Do I Need One?

race warm-up

Pre-workout supplements are all the rage nowadays. However, it can be a bit tricky for a newcomer to figure out what a pre-workout supplement even is. Pre-workouts have replaced the pre-workout meal with an array of vitamins, supplements, minerals, and nutrients that many people swear by nowadays.

But what exactly are pre-workouts, and why do they come in so many shapes and sizes? What kind of ingredients are included in a pre-workout supplement? These are the questions that we aim to answer today.

What Exactly Is a Pre-Workout Supplement?

A pre-workout is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: something that you take before your workout. The idea behind a pre-workout is that the vitamins and minerals included in the supplement will help improve your workout.

Pre-workouts can come in a variety of different forms. The most common is a powder that you can mix into a drink. However, you can also find pre-workouts in these forms:

  • Capsules containing a number of different vitamins and minerals
  • Chewable pre-workout supplements
  • Canned or bottled drinks with various ingredients
  • ‘Shaker bottles’ which contain a pre-workout that can be mixed into the drink by shaking it

No matter what form you get your pre-workout supplement in, though, you can expect that it’s going to have the same general idea behind it: helping you work out harder, better, faster, and stronger.

That said, the chances of you finding the same pre-workout recipe from a different company is pretty slim. There are hundreds, if not thousands of different ingredients out there that can help improve your workout. Each company has their own recipe and their own ingredients.

A lot of pre-workout supplements use proprietary blends, as well, which means that they won’t even tell you what’s in the supplement. If you’re interested in trying one of these products then you’ll have to rely on the reviews of other people to decide whether or not the supplement will work for you.

We advise reading more about the best pre workout supplements.

What’s In a Pre-Workout Supplement?

As mentioned above, the ingredients in a pre-workout supplement tend to vary from company to company. There are a lot of different things that might be included in a pre-workout supplement.

Carbs or No Carbs?

Some pre-workout supplements focus on supplying you with a healthy dose of carbs. Carbs are an energy source, and healthy carbs are a great way to get powered up before a workout. With enough carbs, you’ll feel like you’re ready to rock the gym.

However, not everyone likes to rely on carbs as an energy source. The keto diet fad has shown many people that fat is a viable energy source, in many ways better and more sustainable than carbs. For that reason (as well as a few others) some pre-workout formulas make a point of being low-carb or carb-free.

Stimulants?

Some pre-workout supplements focus on getting you to jack up your output. One of the ways to do this is by putting stimulants in the pre-workout supplement. These stimulants will kick in as you begin your workout, allowing you to work harder at the gym.

  • Caffeine is the most common stimulant used in pre-workouts (and throughout the world). Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and makes it easier to do heavy workouts. However, it can also keep you awake at night – so avoid using a pre-workout with caffeine too late in the day.
  • Some pre-workout supplements contain other natural stimulants like ginseng or guarana. These aren’t as powerful as caffeine but they also aren’t going to keep you up at night. They also don’t strain your immune system.

Amino acids?

A lot of pre-workout supplements contain amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They can also have interesting effects on their own. Some common amino acids used in pre-workout supplements include:

  • L-arginine, a popular amino acid supplement that is known to enhance blood flow throughout the body. This brings more blood and oxygen to your muscles so you can work them harder.
  • L-ornithine, which is supposed to kick in your fight-or-flight response and improve your performance by causing you to push harder.
  • L-citrulline, which has similar effects as L-arginine and actually turns into L-arginine once you digest it.

Nitric oxide?

If you don’t know what nitric oxide is, it’s not too late to learn. This is a compound that your body produces. It’s used to help dilate your blood vessels so that you can get oxygen and blood traveling through your body. It’s extremely important for athletes and bodybuilders because it allows your muscles to get the supplies they need to work properly.

Many pre-workout supplements contain supplements that help to boost levels of nitric oxide, such as beetroot powder or certain amino acids.

Do I Need a Pre-Workout Supplement?

The reality is that nobody needs a pre-workout supplement. There’s some debate as to whether or not they’re good in the long-haul. Pre-workouts are great for pushing your body past its natural limit.

This benefit is also the downfall of the pre-workout: you’re pushing yourself harder than you would be able to otherwise. The jury is out as to whether or not this is a safe or healthy idea in the long-run.

However, in the short-term, there’s no denying that pre-workouts can improve your workouts. You’ll probably notice that your endurance goes up, you get more results from your workouts, and you’re able to tone up much quicker than you would be able to without the pre-workout.

Whether or not you want these benefits is up to you. Some prefer the challenge of seeing how strong they can get working within the limits of their body. Others prefer to push it up to the next level by using pre-workouts.

Conclusion

Pre-workout supplements vary from company to company, but ultimately they’re all designed to help you work out better. If you think a pre-workout might help you, don’t hesitate to start using one and see how it feels.

Note – This is A guest post by Huge Supplements .

How To Properly Warm Up For The 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, & The Full Marathon

race warm-up

Looking to get the best of your race? Then you should start with the proper race warm-up.

Here’s the truth.

The warm-up is one of the most detrimental elements of a successful race, yet it’s also one of the often overlook aspects of pre-race preparation.

A good warm-up should prepare you for the transition from zero effort to race effort smoothly and efficiently, which improves your performance and reduces your risk of injury.

The warm-up doesn’t have to be complicated, though. You just need the right approach.

That’s where today’s post comes in handy.

Regardless of your race, the following warm-up routine will help prepare for your event.

In the article, I’ll explain

  • Why a warm-up is key
  • Benefits of a warm-up
  • Different warm-up routines for different races
  • And so much more

The Golden Rule

Overall, the shorter the race, the longer and more thorough the warm-up needs to be.

The length and intensity of your race warm-up depend on your race distance and fitness level. Overall, warm-up seeds are more intense for shorter distances, such as a 5K,  and less strenuous for longer races, such as the marathon.

That’s why you should tailor your warm-up to the type and distance of the race.

For example, if you want to run your best 5K race, you’ll need to be at race speed from the start.

What’s more?

I’d recommend that you keep it similar to the same way you warm up during training. Don’t try anything new on race day.

Additional resource – Guide to pacing strategies for different races

The Benefits Of  A Race Warm-up

A proper warm-up for your race will help prevent injury and is the ideal way to improve your race performance.

The warm-up has two main purposes:

  1. To prepare you for the physical demands of the race
  2. To enhance your muscular systems dynamics, you’re less likely to get injured.

Warming up properly helps prepare your body to run hard and race fast.

Let’s dig more.

Increase Core Temperature

Warming up properly before a run or race raises your core temperature by heating your muscles.

This also improves your metabolism and speeds up the energy supply to your muscles—all of which sets the stage for better performance.

Additional link – Here’s your guide to running strides

Improve Muscle Performance

As your heart rate increases, your muscle temperature, and resistance—or viscosity—decreases.

This improves both muscle contraction and relaxation, which improves athletic performance.

Prevents Injury

Research has shown that warm-ups help limit injury risk.

How?

It improves tissue and muscle flexibility while prepping your body to engage in intense movement.

What’s more?

You’re less likely to pull or tear a muscle when you’re well warmed up.

Additional Resource – Your Guide to Groin Strains While Running

Improve Heart Function

A good warm-up, especially when it includes cardio movement, boosts cardiac output and respiratory minute volume (RMV), increasing your VO2 max.

For more on the importance of warming up for running performance and injury prevention, check the following sources;

Don’t Wait For Too Long

Although, as you can Cleary see, warm-ups have a lot to offer, as a rule, you shouldn’t wait too long between your warm-up and race start time. Or else, you risk losing some of the benefits of the warm-up.

As a general rule, complete the warm-up 5 to 10 minutes before the race starts.

I know.

This is not always possible due to corrals, crowds, wave start, bathroom wait, etc.

But at least pay attention to this and have a backup plan.

I’d recommend finding space away from the crowds and then performing your warm-up.

Next, head to the start line 5 to 10 minutes before the signal. You should also pay attention not to warm up too hard or too long before the race. This, again, can be counterproductive.

A long, intense warm-up may cause fatigue, negatively impacting your race performance

Stuck in a line? Then do butt kicks and high knees in line.

Additional guide – Here’s how to breathe when running in the cold

Warming Up for The 5K

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the shorter the distance, the longer you should warm up.

A 5K is an intense race. Therefore, it calls for an intense(r) warm-up. You’ll want to be 100 percent at the start line to run at your goal race pace.

So how should you warm up?

Depends on your fitness level and racing goals.

If this is your first 5K or you are joining a fun run (where speed doesn’t matter), performing a light 10 to 15 minutes warm-up before the start should be enough.

Related Reading  – How To Run  a 5K in 30 minutes.

I’d recommend walking briskly or jogging for 5 to 10 minutes to gradually raise your heart rate and circulation.

Then perform 5 minutes of dynamic exercises to get your muscles and joints ready and release any tightness.

By then, your body will be warm and set to go.

But, if you’re looking to get the most out of the race or racing hard, you’ll want to prepare your body for top speed ahead of the start.

Start with a 5-minute walk to wake your body up, then run one to two miles at an easy and conversational pace. During the last half of the running warm-up, add four to six 30-second accelerations at your race pace. The stride-outs should feel comfortably hard.

Additional resource – How to avoid slowing down during  a race

Next, do a series of dynamic stretches, performing each movement for 30 to 45 seconds. The more, the merrier.

Some of the best moves include:

Leg swings

Walking lunges

Butt kicks

High knees

Inchworms

What’s more?

Try to complete your warm-up as close to the start of the race as you can. This might be easier in smaller events and more trying in larger ones. But at least do your best.

Have to get to the start line earlier? Then do your warm-up but then keep moving in the corral by running in place, doing butt kicks or knee lifts. Keep it active. This will help keep your body warm, especially on colder days.

A beginner runner? Try this couch to 5K plan.

Additional Resource – What’s A Good 5K Time For A Beginner.

Warming Up for The 10K

The 10K is another distance that will require you to start hard and fast if you want to run your best.

Run for 10-minute at an easy pace. It shouldn’t feel hard at all. Then do 4 to 6 strides at your 10K pace to get your body primed for fast speed.

Sure, I know it sounds counterintuitive to run before a race, but trust me, accelerations and strides are helpful—just make sure not to do too much.

Next, perform a dynamic stretching routine, doing plenty of high knees, running in place, butt kicks, and lunges. These should help you loosen up for the race.

Just keep in mind that static stretching—holding a strong stretch for 30 seconds or longer—is not recommended before racing, as research has shown that it can increase injury risk and hinder performance.

Going to be standing around before the race starts? Then you should stay warm and shed clothes just before the start (if possible).

I’d recommend starting your warm-up 30 minutes before the start time. This will give you enough time to warm up and get to the race’s start line. (Here’s the full guide to the couch to 10K plan)

Additional Resource – Here’s how to run a 10K in one hour

Warming Up For The Half Marathon

Finding the right recipe mix between energy conservation and preparation is tricky regarding the half marathon.

If this is your first half marathon, keep your warm-up simple since you’re trying to make it to the finish line and earn that medal instead of chasing a PR.

I recommend keeping it to a 5-minute brisk walk and some easy jogging for a few minutes to get your body loose. Then, save your energy for the race course.

Trying to PR and competing in a half marathon? Then run 2 miles and include a few race pace intervals later in the warm-up.

Is it a cold-weather race? Then jump into a hot shower before the race to help warm up your body before you head to the race venue.

Remember that you need to conserve your energy, so don’t perform too intensely of a warm-up and burn out before the start line. Ten minutes is enough, so plan it around the start line.

Additional Reading – Half marathon pace chart

Warming Up for The Marathon

I hate to state the obvious, but the full marathon is another event in which you’ll want to minimize your warm-up time and conserve your energy.

Additional resource – How to nail your sub 4 hour marathon pace

You got plenty of time to get into your race pace during a marathon. However, burning off a lot of energy in the warm-up be detrimental to your race performance.

Again, how you warm up depends on your fitness level and race goal.

In it for a PR? A 10-minute brisk walk, a few dynamic stretches, and yoga-like movements to focus on your breathing and how your body feels in the movement.

Remember that when it comes to the marathon, you still have plenty of miles—21.2 miles, to be precise—to get into your race pace and settle. So don’t feel ice you have to rush or expend too much energy that hinders your performance during the race.

Additional resources:

Race Warm-up Guide – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re serious about running your best event, you should always start off with the right race warm-up. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

The Benefits of Ice Baths For Runners

ice baths for runners

If you’re into fitness, you shouldn’t be surprised to see runners—and athletes across all disciplines—jumping into an ice bath after a hard workout.

Also known as cryotherapy or cold water immersion, this “super cold” practice is touted to help reduce muscle pain and soreness.

In this article, I’ll touch on some of the main benefits ice baths offer and how to make the most out of polar practice.

What is An Ice Bath

An ice bath is exactly what it sounds like: an immersion in super cold water. Unlike relaxing baths that you might take for stress and relaxation purposes, ice baths are swift, therapeutic immersions in water filled with ice cubes.

Ice baths are used by athletes from various sports as part of a post-exercise recovery route but can be helpful any time of the day. More on this later.

What Do Ice Baths Do

As long as you’re healthy and don’t have any chronic conditions, ice baths may have a lot to offer.

It cannot only help you relax and feel better but can also help you feel better, enhance your mood and even improve your performance.

Let’s explore some of the benefits of ice baths for runners.

Reduce Core Body Temperature

I hate to state the obvious, but an ice bath can bring your temperature down like nothing else.

This is especially the case if you just worked yourself into a sweat.

Ice baths are a common therapeutic tool for marathon runners and other athletes experiencing heat injuries. The ice can be lifesaving as it has been used to treat serious conditions such as heat stroke.

But be careful. Taking the cold plunge for too long can reduce your core body temperature too much, which is dangerous.

Reduce The Impact of Heat & Humidity

Whether you just finished a long and hard run or are in the middle of summer, cooling off fast can be crucial in many situations.

An ice bath can cool you off quickly—and much more effectively than other methods.

What’s more?

A cold plunge before a long race in heat or humidity can reduce your core body temperature to enhance performance.

Don’t take my word for it.

A review of 19 studies has reported that jumping in cold water cooled off overheated subjects twice as fast as otherwise. But this is only possible if much of the skin is immersed.

Soothe Sore Muscles

After a hard run, plugging into cold water can rely in sore and burning muscles. The cold constricts your blood vessels which slows circulation and soothes some of that soreness and swelling in your muscles post-exercise.

Again, don’t take me for word for it. Some research has shown that cold water immersion limits muscle soreness post-exercise.

According to a study that looked into volleyball, players reported that cold baths benefit muscle recovery in those who practiced it post-workout over 16 days

That’s not the whole story.

Another study found that immersion in cold water can lower inflammation and muscle soreness after intense exercise. The researchers had 15 subjects plunge into cold water at 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) for 15 minutes after their workout. The control group was kept at room temperature.

In the end, the researchers found that the cold water was effective at suppressing the inflammatory markers neopterin two hours following an intensive bout of exercise. That’s a good thing if you ask me.

Simply spending 15 minutes in cold water can help reduce muscle soreness following a workout rather than just resting at room temperature.

However, remember that you’re only using the cold to soothe post-workout aches and not actual pain.

Additional resource – Should I run Today? 

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is our body’s reaction to injury and is characterized by redness, pain, and swelling. Again, the cold has been shown to help with this.

The theory is cold water constrict your blood vessel by decreasing the local temperature after exercise, which can help reduce swelling and inflammatory response. This, in turn, helps you recover faster.

It almost functions like a drug-free anesthetic.

Runners with inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, will find great relief in cold water immersion as it helps reduce discomfort and swelling from flare-ups post-run.

Just keep in mind that some people get better results with heat, so it’s a matter of finding out what feels best for your body at the end of the day.

Additional resource – Running with a labral tear

Improve your Focus

Another benefit of cold water immersion is that it snaps your brain into focus.

Although plunging into cold water may seem like the last thing to do, studies have found some surprising benefits for brain power and mental health.

Like breath work, meditation, and mindfulness, cold water immersion is another efficient practice for your cortisol levels, stress, and mental state.

Additional Resource – Here’s the full guide lower abdominal pain while running.

Trains Your Vagus Nerve

Cold water immersion can also benefit your nervous system.

Ice baths may help you train your vague nerve, which is linked with the parasympathetic nervous system and training.

The vague nerve is a long nerve that extends from the brain to the stomach and helps us deal with stressful situations.

Improved Vagus nerve function improves mental function, cognition, and digestion, reducing anxiety and so much more.

Again, don’t take my word for it.

Research has reported that cold stimulation activates the Vagus nerve, especially in the neck region. Therefore, reducing heart rate and likely soothing stress.

What’s more?

A review of different research papers has reported that cold showers have an antidepressant effect. Another review of hydrotherapy treatments found that cold exposure can improve the capacity and function of the certain nervous system (CNS). A functional CNS can help you feel better and sleep better.

Although more research needs to be conducted to get the full picture of the link between ice baths and mental conditions, jumping into cold water every now and then might help your mood.

Additional resource – Sore quads after running

The Risks of Ice Baths

Although cold water immersion are beneficial, just like anything else, there are some side effects.

For starters, jumping into icy water feels very cold—especially the first few times you do this.

In addition to this superficial “discomfort,” ice baths’ main downside applies to those with high blood pressure or any preexisting disease.

The immersion in ice constricts blood vessels and slows down circulation in your body.

This can be unsafe if you have circulation problems which can put you at risk for cardiac arrest or stroke.

What’s more?

You may also risk hypothermia, especially if submerged in icy water.

Additional resource  – Here’s the full guide to aqua jogging

Who shouldn’t try ice baths?

Staying in an ice bath for too long can also cause hypothermia, which occurs when your body temperature drops too low.

That’s why it’s important to use a timer and keep your ice baths brief. And remember to pay attention to your body. You should get out of an ice bath immediately if you start shivering uncontrollably or notice skin color changes.

Though cold water plunges are likely a risk for everyone, some people may be especially vulnerable. That’s why it’s key to ensure it’s safe for you before jumping into cold water.

Avoid ice bathing if you have:

  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes
  • A cardiovascular condition or high blood pressure
  • Peripheral neuropathy.
  • Poor circulation
  • An open wound
  • Venous stasis.
  • Cold agglutinin disease.
  • Conditions that increase your cold sensitivity
  • Another preexisting condition limits your body’s ability to regulate body temperature or blood pressure.

Not sure if ice baths are a good idea? Get the green light from your doctor first.

The Cold Isn’t A Fix For Serious  Injuries

Although cold water immersion can help soothes your aches and pains, it’s not the right option if you’re suffering from something more serious, like a fracture, ligament tear, or a chronic overuse injury.

That’s why you need to ensure you’re not dealing with an underlying issue.

Additional Resource – Your Guide to Groin Strains While Running

Tips For Taking An Ice Bath

Ready to take the plunge? Then there are a few things to make sure you make the most out of it.

How do you make an ice bath? 

You can throw together an ice bath by failing your bathtub halfway with cold water and then tossing in a few large bags of commercial ice.

You can also use a smaller container to zone in on a specific part of your body, such as your calf.

The Temperature

The temperature of the ice should usually be roughly 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Likewise, the water shouldn’t be colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Timing is everything

Spending a long time submerged in cold water can have negative consequences.  So, limit your cold exposure to no more than 10 minutes. Start with 5 minutes and slowly work your way up.

It may not seem that cold, but you’ll feel the chill.

Also, use a bath thermometer to ensure you’re doing it right.

Additional Resource – Can You Run With An Abdominal Strain?

Exposure

To make the most out of the cold bath, immerse your entire body in the cold water. This should have the most positive impact on blood vessel contraction.

If this is your first few times, make sure to first expose your feet and lower legs. Then, as you get used to the cold, move toward your chest and upper body.

Bath Timing

The sooner you jump into the cold water following a hard run or workout, the better the effect.

This helps you target your muscles while they’re still in the healing process. Otherwise, some inflammatory and recovery processes may have already run their course if you wait an hour or longer.

Additional resource – Common running injuries

How Long To Ice Bath

If this is your first time, keep it quick. I’d recommend starting with no more than five minutes, then max out at 10.

If this is your first time trying ice therapy, most experts recommend starting much warmer—maybe at around 58 to 62 Degrees.  Just keep in mind that it’s cold for a bath.

What’s more?

Research also tells us that ice baths have little to nothing extra to offer after a few minutes. Furthermore, research has suggested that after around three minutes, extra benefits taper off.

Additional resource –  Prevent Sunburn in runners

Conclusion

Although more research is needed to look into the effects of cold baths on performance, recovery, and overall health, the current scientific consensus is favorable.

How Long Is A Half Marathon?

How Long Is A Half Marathon?

Wondering how long a half marathon is? Then you’ve come to the right place.

A half marathon is exactly 13.1 miles. There you have it. The answer you seek.

For many, a half marathon is a challenging distance. It’s also one of the most popular distances around the world.

If this is your first time running a half marathon, or you are just looking for some motivation to run your 11th marathon, this article has got you covered.

More specifically, I’ll delve into

  • How many miles in a half marathon
  • What’s a good time for a half marathon
  • How long it takes beginners to run a half marathon
  • Half marathon training tips
  • And so much more

The Many Miles of the Half Marathon

Before you sign up for a half marathon and start training, it’s a good idea to consider how long a half marathon is so that you can evaluate your current fitness skill and learn more about training for the race.

So, how many miles is a half marathon exactly?

The official half marathon distance is exactly 13.10 miles or 21.09 kilometers in length.

A half marathon is also:

  • 5 Feet
  • 5 Meters
  • 5 Yards
  • 830610 Inches

As you can already tell, the half marathon length is quite precise. This strangely precise distance forms the full marathon length, which has a long history. Here’s the full guide to how long is a marathon.

Putting Things Into Perspective

Let’s examine the half marathon distance in another way.

For example, the standard length of most sports is 400-meter long. So, you’ll need to run around 53 laps to cover a half-marathon distance. Again, yes, that’s a lot of laps.

How Many Steps in A half Marathon

Overall, your height and gender impact the most your stride length.

Thanks to these two variables, stride length varies from one runner to under and among sexes.

Overall, the taller you’re, the longer your stride length, so you can cover more ground on each walking step and/or running stride. By the same token, those who aren’t that tall will have shorter stride lengths, so they’ll have more spites to cover the same distance as a taller person when walking or running.

On average, you can take up to 20,000 steps to run a half marathon. So yes, that’s a lot of steps.

But How Does That Stack up?

Surveys show that the average American takes around 4,000 steps per day.

This means you would take around five times as many spites as the average person in The United States.

There are around 22,000 walking in a half marathon when an average of all sexes and heights run at a pace of around 9 to 10 minutes per mile.

Half Marathons Are Common

Half marathons are attracting more and more runners.  Thanks to this rise in popularity, events are everywhere, as more and more keep popping up across every corner of the globe.

Not only that, but half marathon races are also easy to find and are a fantastic excuse to travel to a new city. Almost every city will nowadays host at least one of these races every year.

Of course, don’t take my word for it.

Research released by Run Repeat reported that half marathons boast the highest numbers of participants, with over two million athletes in 2018.

The main reason is that up HM training isn’t as physically demanding nor time-consuming as training for the full marathon.

Additional resource – How to use running pace charts

Is Running a Half Marathon Hard?

It depends on the person. If you’re not used to endurance training, logging 13.1 miles in one go can be daunting.

That’s why you should follow the right HM training plan to help you build endurance and strength, regardless of your current fitness level.

With the right plan, everything is “relatively”’ easy. At least consider something within your reach.

If you’re a beginner, start with the couch to a half marathon plan. During this plan, you start with easier sessions that consist of a mix of walking and running; then, you build up your weekly volume over long weeks up to the event.

This allows you to gradually build your endurance without risking injury or burnout.

What’s more?

If you’ve just finished running a 5K or 10K race and still looking for more challenges, signing up for a half marathon is the exact thing you need.

How Long It Takes to Finish a Half Marathon

How long it takes you to complete a half marathon will depend on several variables, such as your age, fitness level, gender, running experience, race course, and temperature.

Most beginners may complete it in two to three hours. However, opting for the walk/run method might take longer.

In most races, the cut-off time for completing the half marathon is around 3.5 to 4 hours, depending on the race.

So as long you can walk fast and throw in the occasional jog, you can finish before the cut-off time.

Here are some estimates.

  • Beginners Runners – The average half marathon time is around two to three hours.
  • Intermediate runners – The average half marathon time is around one hour 40 minutes to two hours.
  • Advanced runners – The average half marathon is around one hour, 10 to one hour 40 minutes.

Additional Resource  – Running for time Vs. distance

Your First Half Marathon Goal

If this is your first very first half marathon, set a goal of making it to the finish line instead of finishing in a certain time.  Depending on your first endurance level,  training plan, and race course, you might expect to reach the finish line between two to three hours.

How Long It Takes To Train For a Half Marathon

Most half-marathon training programs last between 12 to 16 weeks. At the very least, it will take you three months to race, but again, it depends on your starting option.

Beginner runners must follow a beginner half marathon plan—such as the couch to half marathon plan—that lasts no less than 16 weeks to be race ready.

However, if you’re more of an intermediate runner, expect to train for 12 to 16 weeks for the distance.

Last but not least, advanced runners will follow a plan that’s 12 weeks long.

However, keep in mind that these are just suggestions. Your current fitness level is the deciding factor.

Tips For Beginners

Training for a half marathon isn’t just about lacing your shoes and running as far as you can a few times a week. Instead, you need to follow a sensible plan that helps you build endurance without risking injury or burnout.

Consult Your Doctor

Before you sign up for your first race, get the green light from your healthcare provider first.

They can confirm whether your new adventure aligns with any medical conditions or physical limitations you might have.

Sign Up In Advance

As a beginner, you might need to train for 16 weeks—or longer—to be ready for the race.

So, sign up for a race in advance and start training accordingly. Don’t sign up for a race on a whim.

Fortunately, you can find a variety of half-marathon plans designed for different experience levels.

Choose A Good Plan

To run a half marathon, you’ll need to start with a training schedule that suits your fitness level, running experience, and goals.

Choosing a plan that will fit in with your lifestyle is also important. For example, you’re simply wasting your time if you opt for a plan that requires you to run five times a week if you cannot commit.

Get The Right Shoes

I cannot emphasize this enough, but proper running shoes are key for efficient training and racing.

Therefore, as a rule, choose a pair of running shoes that fit well and provide plenty of support. Head to the nearest running specialty store and ask the staff to help find the perfect pair.

Expect to pay around $100 for a decent pair. Other than time, getting proper shoes is the most important investment in your half-marathon training.

Build Up Your Mileage

Avoid doing too much too soon.

During the early stages of your training, focus on running a few miles a week and then slowly increase your weekly load.

I’d recommend following the 10 percent rule, in which you increase weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent from one week to the next.

Check this guide for the full scope.

Cross Train

Spending more time running is the best way to improve your running performance. Practice makes perfect and all that.

But that’s no excuse to dismiss the impact of proper cross-training on your running performance.

Non-running exercises such as strength training, biking, yoga, and swimming can help improve your overall fitness without adding running-related stress to your body.

Come Up With A Race Strategy

Once you have signed up for a half marathon, it’s time to devise a race strategy.

Start by determining your race pace, then break down the distance into manageable chunks.

For example, if you’re aiming to finish the race in two hours, this is the strategy for you

Keep It Up

Training for a half marathon can be challenging, so you must find ways to help you stay motivated for the long haul.

So what should you do?

I’d also recommend that you make your goals public and seek support from other like-minded individuals—and runners. Peer pressure can do wonders for your motivation.

Your Guide To The Single-Leg Bridge Exercise – Benefits & Technique

Guide To The Single-Leg Bridge Exercise

Do you run regularly but are often plagued with an injury? Then you should add the single-leg bridge exercise to your training plan.

The single-leg bridge is an awesome exercise to isolate and strengthen your hip extensors—key running muscles (more on later).

You don’t need any special equipment for this exercise, so it can be performed virtually anytime, anywhere.

This makes the perfect fit for lower body exercises performed at the gym, in your bedroom, or even while traveling.

But how do you make the most out of it? That’s where today’s post comes in handy. In this article, I’ll be diving into the following:

  • What the single-leg bridge
  • The benefit of the single-leg glute bridge
  • Who should be doing the single-leg glute bride
  • How to do the single-leg glute bridge
  • And so much more

What is the Single-Leg Glute Bridge

A form of advanced bridge exercise, this single-leg glute bridge is a fantastic exercise for targeting your posterior chain.

Consisting of a unilateral variation, the Single-Leg Glute Bridge targets muscle groups throughout your body, like the hip flexors, hamstrings, lower back muscles, and gluteal muscles, including the gluteus maximus, gluteus Medius, and gluteus minimums.

Without strong running muscles, you risk putting undue stress on your joints and other body parts. This not only hinders performance but can also cause injury.

The Benefits of Single-Leg Glute Bridge

the Single-Leg Glute Bridge is a unilateral exercise.

Unilateral training—or training one side at a time—works well to prevent and fix muscle imbalances. By performing unilateral exercises, you can build your muscles more evenly, which leads to better functionality and athletic power.  

In addition, this exercise can also be used as a strength test, helping to determine whether you’re at risk of certain injuries, especially a hamstring injury.

What’s more?

If you’re suffering from back, whether because you spend a long time in sitting positions or simply because of bad posture, strengthening your glutes may help relieve your pain.

Guess which exercise targets your glutes like nothing else? Of course, the Single-Leg Glute Bridge.

For more on the benefits of the single-leg bridge exercise, check the following resources:

Additional Resource – Your Guide to Groin Strains While Running

How to Perform The Single Glute Bridge

Start by laying on your back, hands by your sides, feet flat on the floor, with knees bent.

While engaging your core and glute muscles to support your body and pressing your left heel into the floor, kick your right foot up, extending your leg fully, so it is around 45 degrees on the ground.

While performing the single-leg bridge, keep your glutes and core engaged, toes pointed up. As you raise your hips, breathe and press down into the ground through your heel.

Hold the upward position for a moment, then lower your hoops slowly while keeping your right leg extended to return to the starting position.

Repeat 8 to 12 times, then switch sides to complete one set.

Perform reps and sets based on your strength level to maintain proper form throughout all sets and repetitions.

Additional Guide – Leg workouts for runners

Making The Single-Leg Bridge More Challenging – Variations

You can perform the single-leg bridge in many ways to match your skill level and goals.

Let’s look at some variation

Two-Leg Bridge

If you cannot perform the single-leg glute bridge, consider making it easier by sticking to the classic variation, in which you keep both feet on the floor bridge while performing the hip raise.

This should help you build enough strength and endurance to progress to the one-leg variation.

Additional resource – Clamshells for runners

Longer Hold

Instead of holding the top movement for a moment, try to keep your leg up for longer.

This puts even more pressure on your hips while further activating your core. I’d recommend starting with a 10-second hold, then working your way up to 45-second holds before returning to the starting position.

Additional Resource – 13 Exercises to improve running

Bridge March

Another variation that will have you panting for air is the bridge march. This exercise teaches you to stabilize your pelvis as your legs move and is ideal for runners and preventing low back pain.

Here’s how to perform the bridge march variation.

Begin by lying face-up, knees bent, and arms folded across your chest. Place your weight on your heels, with the toes slightly off the ground. Engage your reglues and core to bridge up.

Next,  press your heels into the ground and lift your hips up until your shoulders and knees are aligned, then raise your right leg toward your chest until your hip is at 90 degrees.

Hold for a moment, lower your right foot to the ground, and lift the left leg while keeping your hips raised throughout the movement.

Keep alternating your legs for the rest of the exercise. And do not let your hips sage as you march.

Additional reading – How to Avoid Running Injury

How To Manage & Prevent Lactic Acid Build-up While Running

lactic acid while running

Looking for the best advice on how to prevent lactic acid build-up while running? Then this post is for you.

Here’s the truth.

If you often run hard or perform lots of high-intensity interval training, you’ve likely experienced the intense burn in your muscles that usually comes with hard training.

This intense muscle-burning sensation is commonly attributed to lactic acid build-up. And for a long time, runners—and athletes from all over—have looked east and west for ways to reduce this lactic acid build-up.

But when it comes down to the truth, the belief that lactic acid is behind the burning sensation in your muscles (as well as post-workout sereneness) is a myth.

Yes, you heard me right! Lactic acid isn’t the bad guy.

So, what’s going on here? If the lactic acid build-up isn’t the culprit behind the burning pain, what’s causing it?

Worry no more.

In this article, I’ll dive into everything you need to know about lactate, lactic acid, and running. And to clear up a few misconceptions about lactic acid while we’re at it.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

What is lactic acid?

Lactic acid is a key component of the proper function of the human body.

More specifically, it’s the by-product of the breakdown of glucose—a process known as glycolysis, which is an energy system that produces ATP energy in the absence of oxygen in muscle cells.

This production happens when oxygen levels are low, often during intense exercise. The harder you run, the more lactic your body produces.

Once it’s in your bloodstream, lactic acid breaks into lactate and hydrogen ions. Lactate gets processed and turned into fuel by your mitochondria—energy factors in your cells. But those hydrogen ions cause some problems. More on this later.

Some health conditions can boost the production of lactic acid or limit your body’s ability to clear it from the blood. This can cause a serious lactate build-up, medically referred to as Lactic acidosis.

Your body employs lactic acid at a whole-body level. As a result, it plays a crucial role in the proper function of cells, tissues, and organs. Overall, lactic acid has three main functions in your body. These include:

  • A chief energy source of mitochondria
  • A signaling molecule
  • As a precursor for glucose production.

The Process Of Lactic Acid Production

Let’s look at the process behind lactic acid production without getting too technical.

Your body provides energy to your muscles via a process known as glycolysis, in which it breaks down carbohydrates—in the form of glucose from the food you eat—and produces adenosine triphosphate

How much ATP is released from glycolysis depends on the presence of oxygen during glycolysis.

When you work out at high intensity, your body gradually relies on your fast-twitch muscle fibers to produce power. However, these fibers aren’t capable of using oxygen as efficiently.

So, during a hard workout, like when you sprint as hard as you can—ATP requirements are high, but oxygen levels are low.

In other words, during high-intensity exercise, your body requires more fuel than normal to keep the muscles functioning.

When this takes place, glycolysis becomes anaerobic. Thus, during anaerobic glycolysis, glucose is broken down into lactate, which leads to higher levels of circulating lactate in the blood.

Additional Resource – Your Guide to Groin Strains While Running

Does Lactic Acid Make Your Muscles Burn When While Running & Exercising?

The short answer is no.

For a long time, it was thought that lactic acidosis, or the increased concentration of lactic acid in the muscles, was behind the burning felt during intense training.

However, research tells us that lactic acid isn’t to blame for the burning sensation in your muscle when you work out at high intensity.

Let me clear up something.

Lactic acid is created when a hydron atom bonds with the lactate molecule. It’s specifically a blend of a positive hydrogen ion and a negative lactate ion. However, researchers have discovered that lactic acid as a molecule cannot exist in the body in its complete form since the pH of the human body is too high.

More specifically, the pH of our blood is too alkaline, or not acidic enough, to maintain the bond between the lactate molecule and the hydrogen ion.

Additional resource – Here’s how much water a runner should drink

prevent lactic acid

The Culprit Behind Burning Sensation in Muscles When Working Out

Traditionally muscle soreness has been blamed on lactic acid. But, as I just explained, lactic acid is a source of fuel that powers our muscles during exercise.

So if it isn’t lactic acid, what’s responsible for the burning sensations when you’re running fast and hard?

Again, science may have the answer. Research has found that lactate production increases the number of hydrogen ions, making the body unable to break down the hydrogen ions fast enough. The build up of these molecules make the environment acidic, causing the infamous muscle burn while exercising.

The truth is lactate delays muscle fatigue. Your muscles would fatigue much faster without it.

Additional resource – Strava for runners

But what about post-exercise muscle soreness?

Some experts suggest that exercise-induced muscle soreness is caused by the microdamage in the muscles and connective tissue, causing inflammation.

The scientific term for this muscle pain is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which is the natural process that the body experiences to recover and build muscle tissue.

Virtually all types of exercise, not just running, can induce some soreness but the more intense the exercise, especially movement with a drastic emphasis on the stretching or lengthening phase, play a more drastic role in how sore you feel the day or two after a workout.

Additional resource – Running with a labral tear

How To Manage The Burning Sensation In Your Muscles

Fortunately, you don’t need to do much to eliminate “lactic acid” buildup in your muscles.  You got a liver to thank for that, as it takes care of the processing of lactate.

As soon as you slow down your pace and start to breathe in more oxygen, the pH levels will increase, and the burning sensation will fade. However, there are many things you can do to help manage the burning in your muscles from a hard run.

Let’s check a few.

Increase Intensity Slowly

The best way to limit post-run muscle soreness is gradually building up to higher mileage.

Although stepping out of your comfort zone is key, overtaxing your muscles can be counterproductive. Running often and hard without proper recovery can cause serious muscle soreness and even lead to injury.

As a rule, don’t increase intensity—whether distance, speed, or both—too fast or all at once.

Follow the 10 percent rule, increasing your weekly mileage by no more than 10 percent. Only add speedwork once you have a solid mileage base—20 to 25 miles per week for at least three months straight.

Start feeling the burning pain while running? Then slow down.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to the Maffetone Method.

Drink Lots of Water

When you feel thirsty during a run or workout, know that’s a sign that your muscles need more oxygen. So please, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

So how much fluid do you need?

I don’t have the exact answer as it depends on many variables such as your physiology, hydration needs, training intensity, and temperature—to name a few

But overall, I’d recommend having 16 to 24 ounces of water two to three hours before a run. Then, for long runs, have an extra 8 to 12 ounces of fluid every 20 to 30 minutes of running.

Additional resource – your guide to running with metatarsalgia

Run Regularly

Maintaining a consistent routine is the best way to become a better runner.

If you want to run farther and faster, you must run more often. This doesn’t mean overextending your body, but at least keep a consistent running routine. Strive for incremental progress—not huge leaps.

Improve Your Lactate Threshold

It’s only by training properly that you’ll increase your lactate threshold. This is the pace you can run at before your body starts to require to make energy anaerobically.

Tempo training and speedwork can help increase your lactate threshold, thus improving your fitness.

Running within your lactate threshold helps adapt your body to extra energy production. You’ll need less glucose to burn for fuel. This, over time, leads to less lactic acid buildup.

Additional Resource – Why is my running not improving

Compression

Another way to help eliminate waste products in your muscles is using compression before and/or after a run.

Research has reported that using compression gear during and after running helps stabilize the muscles and speeds up recovery from fatigue and pain.

What’s more? Compression gear puts pressure on the blood vessels, which pushes out metabolic waste and improves circulation.

Once you remove the compression, your blood vessels expand further than before, ushering in a new supply of oxygen-rich blood.

Additional resource – Is Aqua Jogging Good for Runners?

Apply Heat Before Running

Another option for removing metabolic byproducts from your muscle is using heat before an intense run or heavy workout. Then apply cold after post-exercise.

Heat activates stiff and sore muscles by improving blood flow. This helps improve performance and reduce injury risk.

What’s more?

Following a hard run, your nervous system  is extremely alert, which may cause a burning sensation. Applying cold post-run calms your nervous system and brings things back to homeostasis.

Once the muscles are warm again, they open wider than before, improving oxygen-rich blood flow.

Cool Down Properly

Cool-downs are a must. Opting for a low-intensity pace lets your body take in oxygen while you’re still moving.

This helps keep blood flowing to your muscles, allowing the removal or flushing of lactate or hydrogen ions from your muscles.

Stretch Down

Lactic acid might take roughly 30 to 60 minutes to disperse post-run, so cool down properly and stretch right after.

Stretching post-exercise helps your muscles relax and boost blood flow to your muscles. This, in turn, helps relieve tension allowing for more flexibility when running.

Foam Roll

Want to take your flexibility and mobility work to the next level?

Try foam rolling, as it can release tight muscles and limit the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.

How?

Foam rolling stimulates circulation and encourages lymphatic drainage.

I’d also recommend you massage your running muscles with a foam roller before a hard run. This works well both for pain relief and relaxation.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to hydration running vests

Eat Right For Less Lactic Acid

Diet also matters when it comes to flushing out lactic acid. Some foods help you manage lactic acid buildup to prevent lactic acidosis.

Overall, foods rich in magnesium, B vitamins, and fatty acids are the way to go.

Great sources of vitamin B include:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Cereals
  • Dairy products

As for magnesium, add the following to your menu

  • Spinach
  • Turning greens
  • Collard greens
  • Navy beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds
  • Nuts

What’s more?

Consider taking magnesium flake or Epsom salt to improve magnesium absorption. This can also help improve energy levels, promote relaxation and soothe soreness.

Last but not least, foods rich in fatty acids include:

  • Freshwater salmon
  • Corn oil
  • Walnuts

These help lower inflammation in the body, which actively reduces muscle soreness experienced following a hard run. These can also speed up your recovery rate.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to pre and post run nutrition

How To Properly Choose Running Belts

run commute

If you often run, especially if you train for a longer race such as the marathon, odds are a running belt will help you. Choosing a proper running belt is just as crucial as good running shoes.

Fortunately, there’s a belt for every type of runner, and with some research, you’ll be able to find a proper belt that doesn’t chafe or bounce while logging the miles.

In today’s post, I’ll explain the importance of running a hydration belt and a few things you need to consider when choosing one.

What Are Hydration Belts?

A running belt is a must-have item for runners who need something to keep their bits and pieces. Most running belts are specifically designed for the activity by reducing the risk of bouncing and chafing, which often comes with high-impact activity.

Runners belts are a convenient, comfortable, and hands-free way to carry your running essentials.

These belts strap onto your waist with the capacity to hold one to four water bottles, depending on the brand.

In addition, these belts allow you to carry your keys, phone, and even water one run while keeping your hands and pockets free.

Although the running market is flooded with these belts, most are similar. They’re made of various materials, have several compartments, and come in various sizes depending on the runner’s needs.

And don’t worry. You can find lots of styles and storage options that fit your need.

Now that you know a thing or two about running belts, let’s learn how to choose a good one.

Additional resource – Strava for runners

Tips For Choosing A Running Belt

Choosing a new running may seem overwhelming, thanks to the abundance of choices on the market. So with hundreds and hundreds of models and brands, how do you know which running belt is best for you? Which features should you look for?

Worry no more.

Consider the following points before buying your next (or first) running belt.

The Right Fit

To get the right fit, the belt has to be positioned low with the pouch at the front at the widest part of your hips. Start by measuring your hips before making sure you find the right-sized belt.

I’d recommend a belt with an adjustable strap. This allows you to adjust the belt.

Choose a belt that can be pulled firmly around your waist so it lies flat against your lower back. This helps limit the amount if moves during running.

You should also choose one with a stretchable elastic band so it can be adjusted for a comfortable and snug fit.

Additional resource – Prescription Glasses for runners

Grippers and Bounce

Another feature to seek is silicone grippers. Why? Running belts that feature silicone grippers on the inside are less bouncy.

What’s more?

Check if the belt’s design is evenly distributed, so there is zero to little interference while you run.  When the belt is ergonomically designed, it’s less likely to cause chafing.

Additional Resource – Your Guide To Runners Nipples

Water Capacity

Depending on how long you plan to run, you may need more water. Overall, the longer you run, the more water you’ll need. Endurance athletes will need more water than recreational 5K runners.

Different running belts have different water-holding capacities. Some allow one big bottle, some allow for 2 to 4 bottles, some allow just one small one to be held, and some brands feature tailed water bladder.

Additional resource – Here’s how much water a runner should drink

Hydration Capacity

Taking enough water to drink while running will reduce your risk of dehydration, fatigue, and heat stroke.

How much fluid you need during a run depends on how long you plan to run and your hydration needs, but overall, you may need more or less space for water bottles on your running belt.

The water bottle can be divided into three types:

  • A water pouch with just one bottle
  • A fully loaded running belt with one or two bottles of 12 and 16 ounces capacity, respectively.
  • A running belt with a holster for your own water bottle of up to 20 ounces capacity.

Regardless of your choice, ensure the water bottle is easy to access and use. It should also come with a silicone mouthpiece and a quick-flow spout. You should also make sure that you can slide the bottle in and out of the holsters in a way that won’t interfere with your run or spill water on yourself.

Additional Resource – Prevent chafing when running

Weight of The Running Belt

This shouldn’t be a surprise, but carrying a heavy load, especially when running for an extended period, can impact your running performance.

Instead, choose the lightest running belt—as long it meets your need. Less load improves running efficiency. Thus, you’ll be able to comfortably run farther and faster. That’s a good thing if you ask me.

Need a lot of water on the run? Then a heavy belt could drastically change your running pattern.

Additional Resource – What’s the best temperature for running?

Materials

Another thing to look for is the right material. Make sure to that material is comfortable while strapped onto you. This is important to ensure no excessive build-up of sweat.

Overall, I’d recommend Neoprene fabric as it is elastic, lightweight, and less bulky than other options.

Training in rainy weather? Go for fabrics that are water-resistance to protect your valuables. Keep in mind that belts with stitches or zippers can be water-proof.

Choose a belt designed from a water-resistant material.  Neoprene is a good option since it’s water-resistant and breathable, stretchy, lightweight, and durable.

Though you might tuck your t-shirt under your running belt, if the fabric isn’t breathable, it can still cause chafing and discomfort.

Pay Attention To Pouch Size

The pouch is a key feature to consider when choosing a running belt.

Consider the size of your essentials, too. For example, you might carry a bigger smartphone than the standard size. Therefore, you’ll need a bigger size or one with an extra phone pocket.

In other words, the pouch size depends on what you intend to carry with you. But, whatever you choose, ensure that that belt can sit comfortably against your back.

Running Belt and Gender

Most running belts are unisex—men and women can use them.

However, some running bets may offer gender-specific features that can help you along the mile more comfortably. Some are designed to be better suited for female runners and more male-specific.

Consider The Extra

Some running belt features are added extra to fit your running needs. Others let you personalize them to your own needs.

Some of the things to consider include the following:

  • Integrated bib toggles for racing
  • Sunglasses pouch
  • Bottle holster add-on
  • Reflective details for extra visibility
  • Luminous color options
  • Loops for energy gel packets
  • Interior pocket
  • Separate case for a phone

Choose Running Belts – The Conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking for the complete guide to running belts then today’s post has you covered. The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Thank you for dropping by.

Your Guide to The Marathon Des Sables (MDS)

Looking to push yourself to the limits? Then look no further than the Marathon Des Sables.

Touted as the toughest ultra-marathon race on earth, the Marathon Des Sables is the stuff of legends. The event consists of six days of running over 156 miles across grueling dunes, white-hot salt plains, and rocky hills—all while carrying what you need to survive the race.

In this article, I’ll dive into what the marathon des sables is all about and what it takes to get into one.

What is The Marathon Des Sables

The Marathon Des Sables, Marathon of Sands in English, is a legendary race that all serious ultra-distance runners must do at least once in their lives. French for Marathon of Sands, Marathon Des Sables, or MDS, is touted as the toughest footrace on each.

How come?

Simple. The event consists of a 250-km+ journey in seven days in one of the most unhospitable environments on the planet: the Sahara Desert of Morocco

Plus, the race is also self-supported, meaning there are no race crews, and each participant has to carry their own supplies. More on this later

The average daytime temperature in the Moroccan desert in April can go up as high as 45 degrees, and nighttime temperatures dip to below 10 degrees.

The ultramarathon event is held annually in April and welcomes runners and walkers alike.

The race is comprised of six stages and a rest day. The race is run over seven days, with the distances starting from 21 kilometers and extending to 82 kilometers per day for a total of over 250 kilometers.

During the event, the runners traverse sone-filled pains and sand dunes in a dry climate where midday temperatures easily reach 120 degrees F—or around 50 degrees C.

Additional resource – Marathon pace chart

The Difficulties of Running The Marathon of Sands

The race takes place in the Sahara desert in Morocco, North Africa, with two challenges: heat and sand.

During the grueling race, you’ll experience the glaring sun and temperature up to 50 degrees C. Imagine running six marathons in a hot oven while carrying over 22 pounds of supplies over your back—That’s the marathon des sables n a nutshell.

During the race, you’ll encounter sand and lots of it. The sand dunes can stretch for over 7 miles. You’ll also have to drag yourself up near-vertical mounts of rocks with over 1000 meter of elevation.

The race will be hard. As you make your way through the world’s largest scorching desert, your feet will blister, swell, crack, and bleed. You’ll log the miles through the burring days and freezing nights to reach the finish line.

This is why not everyone crosses the start line makes it to the finish line. It’s not uncommon that around 30 to 40 percent of runners often drop out before reaching the finish line. Talk about a DNF machine!

What’s more?

The Sahara desert is also home to over 20 species of snakes and ten scorpions—all evil.

However, these tend to be night creatures (so it better make it to the finish line before sunset).

Additional Reading – Here’s your guide to obstacle race course training.

The Rules of Marathon Des Sables

The MDS has many rules (some of which go beyond the scope of this article).

The Marathon Des Sables consists of six stages, five of which are competitive stages. The final stage is a non-competitive, “fun” charity stage.

The rules state that you should be self-sufficient. This means that each participant must carry on their back everything they need for the race except the water needed to survive.

That includes their own gear, such as food, water ratios supplied by the race organizers, survival tools, camping materials, etc.  The race rules state a minimum of 2000 calories worth of food and drink.

As for water, the race organizers will provide you with  10 to 12 liters of water per day, depending on the stage. Specifically, every runner gets 1.5 liters in the morning and around 1.5 to 4.5 liters at every checkpoint every six to nine miles during each stage.

Additional Guide – What’s The Fastest Marathon Time?

When Is The Marathon Des Sables

The Marathon Des Sables usually takes place during the first two and half weeks of April each year, which is springtime in the Sahara desert.

For the 2023 event,  the race will be run between 21 April to 1 May.

What to Carry

Backpack should weigh around 14 to 36 pounds, including food (without water). Each pack is checked the day before the race for the required supplies, which include:

  • backpack
  • lighter
  • topical disinfectant
  • sleeping bag
  • Ten safety pins
  • a whistle
  • a signaling mirror
  • head torch and a complete set of spare batteries
  • anti-venom pump
  • 200 euros
  • one tube of sun cream
  • compass, with 1° or 2° precision
  • knife with a metal blade
  • one aluminum survival sheet
  • identity card
  • an original medical certificate signed by the doctor
  • original ECG and its tracing
  • passport or ID card
  • survival blanket

How Does The Marathon Des Sables Work?

The Marathon Des Sables is a six-stage race during which runners cover the distance of a marathon for the first three days each day. The exact race course is undisclosed, but the distance—126 miles—is the contrast and will be divided into six stages over seven days.

The event course changes yearly and is only revealed a few weeks before event day. Therefore, the distances may change, and each stage’s length gets the most attention.

The main part of the event—during which you earn the medal—is the five-stage run over six days, covering around 156 miles or 250 kilometers. On day 4, participants will cover roughly a double marathon distance, then rest on day five, and day 6 is the event’s last day.

The race course is marked around every 500 meters, and checkpoints are strategically set on the course every five to nine miles.   Runners get into a tent to check in, have a medical check get water, and dump trash before venturing out again.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to hydration running vests

How long Does It Take to Run The Marathon Des Sables

According to the official stats, the average pace for the fastest runners is around 7-minute miles, whereas the slowest is upwards of 20-minute per mile.

In 2022, the first-place male completed the race in around 18 hours, while the women’s winner got around in 24 hours.

Additional resource – Here’s how to avoid a DNF in a race

How To Enter The Marathon Des Sables

If you’re considering joining the Marathon des Sables, then know that the scorching heating and unforgiving desert aren’t the only things to brace for.

See, MDS is expensive. REALLY Expensive.

Last year, The Marathon Des Sables costs approximately 4,000 USD per person.

For US runners, the fee includes travel from Europe to Morocco but not trans-Atlantic flights. You’ll be provided with food, expect during the event when you go into self-sufficient mode.

That’s not the whole story.

You’ll also need to buy the kit. Once you’re done with the sleeping bag, shoes, gaiters, stove, etc., you can easily spend around 6,000 USD. This might force you to take out a small mortgage to join the race.

Additional Resource – How Many Calories Should a Runner Eat

How to Sign Up

The entry to Marathon of Sands varies depending on your country of origin.

US and International residents sign via Marathondessables.com.

UK residents sign up via Marathondessables.co.uk.

Every year, roughly 1,200 spots for grabs tend to fill up fast. Therefore, you may consider signing up for the event two years beforehand. This should also allow you more time to train.

More Rules

The MSD organization lists a number of requirements to compete. These include;

  • Accepting the rules that govern the race
  • Meeting payment deadlines
  • Meeting dealing for coemption for sign-up forms
  • Providing an ECG and Medical certification signed by a doctor
  • Dealing with any chronic disease? You’ll need to provide a sealed letter addressed to the Medical director

Taking out insurance that will cover you for cancellation in case you get injured or ill before the race.

Additional resources

What’s the best temperature for running

How to qualify for the Boston Marathon

How Long Does Take To Walk A Mile?

How Long Does Take To Walk A Mile?

Looking to learn more about how long it takes to walk a mile? Then you have come to the right place.

If humans were born to run, then we’re born to walk first. Walking is an innate form of movement for humans since we’re the only consistently bipedal primates.

That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising that walking and running are among the most popular forms of exercise.

So how long does it take to walk a mile? I hate to state the obvious, but the duration of a mile depends mainly on your average pace. The faster you can walk, the shorter it takes to cover a mile.

Regardless of your goals, here’s everything you need to know about how long it takes to walk a mile and a little more.

How Long Does Take To Walk A Mile?

Shooting for a mile walk daily is a fantastic way to add more movement into your daily routine.

Many variables will impact your walking pace, impacting how long it takes to walk a mile.

For example, competitive walkers can walk a mile in 11 minutes, according to a 2015 study on walking groups. However, keep in mind that these professional athletes can keep a fast pace for one mile.

But if you want a ballpark range, you should know that, on average, most people can walk three to four miles per hour.

This means it’d take roughly 15 to 20 minutes to walk a mile straight up, or three to four miles an hour, according to a large, long-term study.

I’d guess anything between 14 to 20 minutes. If you’re a beginner or older and walk at a t easier pace, your average mile time might be closer to 20 minutes.

But overall, average walking speed can be improved with regular practice.

Your walking pace and speed depend on a few variables: age, fitness level, gender, terrain, and temperature. Men walk a bit faster than women, and the older you get, the slower you walk, according to a 2011 study.

That leaves a lot of margin for the above variables. Luckily, you can find many apps to help you calculate your distance and pace.

Additional Resource – Here’s the full guide to how long does it take to run a mile.

The Benefits of Walking

As you can already tell, walking has a lot to offer, as it can help with several physical and mental issues.

Walking regularly can:

  • Improve your fitness level – spending more time being active can improve your endurance and overall conditioning
  • Improve your insulin sensitivity – which can help you lose body fat and improve body composition
  • Reduce your risk of chronic “lifestyle” conditions – such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Boost your brain power—walking improves circulation through the brain, according to research from New Mexico Highlands University.
  • Reduce the risk of life-threatening conditions – such as depression, strokes, and coronary heart disease.
  • Help you to think more creatively – walking has been shown to allow subjects’ thoughts to flu more freely, which is key for problem-solving, according to research published by The American Psychological Association.

 How Many Steps in One Mile?

Again, and as you can already tell, this can vary widely.

Overall, it takes the average person around 2000 to 2500 steps to cover one mile of walking. This research has reported that walking 3 miles per hour adds up to 2,252 steps per mile, whereas a 4-mph walk equals around 1,935 steps per mile.

This means that the faster you walk, the fewer steps you need to cover one mile.

What’s more?

If you jog or run, you’ll need even fewer steps to cover one mile since you’re getting more steps while running. (Learn more about how many miles is 10000 steps here. You can also learn more about how many laps is a mile around a track here.)

Additional resource – How long does it take to walk five miles

How Many Calories Does Walking a Mile Burn?

The number of calories burned during a one-mile walk depends on various factors. These include:

  • Walking speed
  • Bodyweight
  • Terrain and include level, and
  • Fitness level

But, overall, it’s not impossible to guess how many calories you will burn. So here, in broad strokes, how many calories you’ll burn according to body weight:

  • Weighing 120 pounds (54.4 kg)? Expect to burn 65 per mile.
  • Weighing 160 pounds (72.4 kg)? Expect to burn 105 per mile
  • Weighing 180 pounds (81.64 kg)? Expect to burn 115 per mile

Based on these estimates, expect to burn around 450 to 700 calories weekly if you walk a mile daily.  Sure, the more miles you walk, the more calories you burn.

Here’s how many calories burn running a mile.

How Fast You Can Walk A mile

Five minutes and 31 seconds. That’s the world record for the fastest mile ever walked set by the British Olympian Tom Bosworth.

5:30 is faster than most runners can over that same distance, so it’s likely out of reach for most recreational walkers.

To improve your walking speed, use a smartwatch or a phone app to keep track of speed in real time and monitor your progress.

Additional Resource- Here’s the full guide to RPE in exercise.

How To Increase Your Walking Pace

 To improve your walking pace, you’ve to build stamina.  How do you do that? By walking more often.  The more miles you walk, the better you’ll perform.

To improve your walking pace, you’ll need to monitor your progress. Remember that you might need to take a break or tow or adjust your speed to catch your breath.

Also, your stamina will improve, and your one-mile time will drop as you get fitter. You can find your walking pace using a smartwatch or a phone app that tracks your distance and speed.

Additional resource – How long is a 100-mile race?

Intensity Level

Another practical way to monitor your progress is to keep track of your perceived exertion.

You can monitor your exertion—or fatigue—live by taking note of how you’re feeling during the walk—as in, you can keep a conversation during the walk—or by keeping track of your heart rate via a heart rate monitor.

As your breathing rate increase—and so does your heart rate.  Maintaining a higher heart rate is difficult, so you may have to slow down to catch your breath.

As you get fitter, you’ll improve your cardiac output and aerobic capacity, or what’s known as VO2 max. This means that you won’t get out of breath as fast.

Longer Distance

Looking to know how long it would take to walk other distances?

Then there are a few examples of setting you on the right path. You can also use a pace calculator to determine other distances you want to know about. Here’s how to keep track of far you walk and run.

Additional Resource – How Many Calories Should a Runner Eat